A Short Study of Isaiah 44:22
In Isaiah 44:22, the LORD commands His covenant sheep and His elect people to return to Him because He has put away their sin. “I have blotted out thy transgressions and thy sins, return unto me; for I have redeemed thee.” What greater motive can any sinner have than to seek mercy where it is found, in Christ? What great motive can any sinner have than to seek forgiveness of sin because Christ made full payment for all the sin of His people (Hebrews 9:26)?
Notice carefully, the Lord does not say, “return to me and I will forgive you and redeem you.” No, forgiveness of our sin is not based upon our doing but rather upon His doing and dying. This lost, religious world has turned the gospel of Christ upside down and inside out. They have made salvation based upon our performance and obedience not upon the LORD’s performance and obedience alone (Psalm 57:2; Philippians 2:8). They have made faith and repentance a meritorious and accomplishing work instead of the gift of God that looks to Christ alone for all salvation (Isaiah 45:21; Ephesians 2:8-9; Acts 5:31; Hebrews 12:2).
When the Lord Jesus Christ had mercy upon the woman caught in adultery (John 8:10-11), He did not say to her, “go and sin no more and I will not condemn thee,” that would not have been good news, (for there are none that do not sin). No, just the opposite He said, “Woman, where are those thine accusers? Hath no man condemned thee? Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.” There is no condemnation in Christ (Romans 8:1, Romans 8:31-35).
When Peter preached the gospel on the day of Pentecost he told the crowd about the glorious victories of the Lord Jesus Christ and what He accomplished for His people through His satisfying atonement for sin and then told them to repent, not to put away sin, but rather, because the Lord had already put away sin (Acts 2:36-38).
May the Lord Jesus Christ be pleased to give us all holy determination to seek Him, not only to be forgiven, but because there is forgiveness in no other (Ephesians 1:7). Let all who seek salvation in Him, do so because He is the only Saviour of sinners (Isaiah 44:23; Romans 5:6-9). Let us all be warned of those that preach and promote salvation by creature work and merit instead of Christ’s grace alone (Isaiah 45:21; Romans 4:24-26).